DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 02 August) – The ‘promising’ result of the virgin coconut oil (VCO) clinical trials on patients of COVID-19 may open up more opportunities to the local coconut industry, VCO producers say.
Last month, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) reported that the clinical trials of VCO at a hospital in Laguna as supplement for the treatment of COVID-19 yielded a ‘promising’ result.
Ateneo de Manila professor Fabian Dayrit and Equilibrium Integrative Health Clinic Medical Director Dr. Jose Rey Mondejar also tested the VCO among COVID-19 patients I. Cebu City and yielded a “very promising result.”
Antonino Geniston, general manager of AG Pacific Neutriceutical Corporation, said the clinical trials were an opportunity to scientifically confirm the anti-viral potency of the VCO.
Geniston, whose processing plant in Padada, Davao del Sur is producing a certified organic VCO, attested that he was quickly cured from an onset of the flu after taking four tablespoons of VCO 15 years ago.
“This was actually the very reason why I was moved to establish a VCO factory,” he said.
Geniston pointed out that as the demand for VCO is starting to pick up in the local market, this could also increase the value of coconuts since VCO is classified as a high value product.
He appealed to the government to conduct further research and clinical studies on the health effects of coconut products. He said extensive marketing and promotion would be needed.
Jerry Taray, co-founder of TreeLife based in Carmen, North Cotabato, also noted that the recent development in VCO clinical trials could further boost the coconut industry.
The VCO, added Taray, could become an alternative and affordable supplement against COVID-19.
The average price per 250ML of VCO ranges from P130 to P200 in local grocery shops, selected pharmacies and online resellers.
TreeLife is a homegrown company that produces and exports certified organic coconut-based products including VCO.
Taray said this new development could lead to more income not only for processors but for coconut farmers.
“This will be the chance of PCA to shine once more and rebuild the industry,” he said, adding it could establish more hubs in coconut-producing areas.
To help boost the local coconut farmers, Taray said they are open to partnership with small coconut farmers. “We want to invest and grow with the community.”
Like Taray, Ernesto Pantua Jr., owner of Kablon Farms, also believes that the recent development VCO’s clinical trial could further spike the demand for VCO as well as increase farm gate price of coconuts.
Kablon Farms, based Tupi, South Cotabato, is a family-owned company that produces a variety of food products including VCO.
Pantua disclosed that their sales had almost doubled from January to June this year compared to the same period last year.
Like his fellow VCO producers, he is also calling on the government, particularly the PCA, to give more attention to the coconut industry.
“We have been knocking on their doors for a long time already to pay attention to the plight of the coconut industry. They can do more if they really want to,” Pantua said. (MindaNews)